renewing music in my life

one of my all time favorite teachers is ms. martha munsch. she taught fifth grade at st. paul grade school when i transferred from emerson in 1973. in preparation for one of our school masses, she asked me to do a reading. i practiced diligently and this is what i read:

Brothers and sisters:
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; 
there are different forms of service but the same Lord;
there are different workings but the same God
who produces all of them in everyone.
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit
is given for some benefit.
To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom;
to another, the expression of knowledge according to the
same Spirit;
to another, faith by the same Spirit;
to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit;
to another, mighty deeds;
to another, prophecy;
to another, discernment of spirits;
to another, varieties of tongues;
to another, interpretation of tongues.
But one and the same Spirit produces all of these,
distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.
1 cor 12: 4-11

this scripture has been very influential in my life. in my best moments, i recognize the truth that we all have different works and gifts that can be beneficial for the common good. and it is the Spirit that puts forth, guides, and develops these gifts. for me, being attentive to the movement of the Spirit and the various gifts is an important aspect of living a good faith relationship with God, others and ourselves.

these past three years here in seattle have made me have to re-evaluate my personal gifts and what the Spirit is stirring in my life. in part, that is why i started to write these musings on my life, thoughts, feelings and ideas. i am figuring it out day by day.

last night i had a revealing phone conversation with a dear claretian brother. i was playing music when he called. during the course of out talk, i had blurted out, “i was just playing my guitar… i am happy when i play music… why don’t i do it more often?”

here is why: i would rather passively sit on the sofa and watch netflix and the nba!

during my first year in seattle, i had renewed my love for music by going through the over 700 english and spanish songs for worship in oregon catholic press’ collection. i had known most of them already from my decades of playing, but i had learned a good number of new and favorite songs. then, i ordered their spirit and song contemporary music book for guitar. it was refreshing. i had known some of the contemporary catholic songs but found a lot of new favorites.

so, it is time to revisit music in my life with a new energy.

i take this gift of music for granted. how many people actually can play the guitar and sing at the same time? how many of these folks know catholic songs? how many of these know the music in english and spanish? and how many people of these are priests and men’s religious?

my bet is that very, very few people are part of all four of these categories. thankfully, i can say that i am in all of these areas.

i need and want to deepen my time and skills with liturgical music. today, now!

so i ask and pray:


  1. Nora says:

    Father Art, I remember our days at the Catholic Student Center at SWT and I appreciate the memories of you playing and singing for us at retreats. Thank you for sharing your gift!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. beccamac2001 says:

    I remember you playing your guitar only once, it was lovely and you have a good voice!
    Steve plays guitar too and has been doing so more , would you mind emailing me the information so I could get some for him?
    He speaks Spanish too, well he is Spanish and Scottish but that’s a different story.
    Also I love the prayer at the end, we say it each day in our legion Tessera.
    Have a beautiful day and hugs to your sweet mama!
    From ☔️ Prescott

    Liked by 1 person

    1. frarthurcmf says:

      thanks for the memory nora— you just made my day!


    2. frarthurcmf says:

      good you all pray the holy spirit prayer becca!
      i would be happy to email you info but i am not sure what info you want. can you email me first?

      my email address is


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